03/09/14 — City Council to continue parks discussion

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City Council to continue parks discussion

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on March 9, 2014 1:50 AM


The master plans for Mina Weil Park and Herman Park are back on the Goldsboro City Council's agenda for Monday night after council members tabled the decision to accept them in February.

Dissension about the future of the parks plans continued at the council's Feb. 17 meeting, focused, in part, on the location of the new W.A. Foster Recreation Center.

Some council members worried about moving the center from its current location, while others wondered about the additional plans for Mina Weil Park and the effect on homeowners in the area.

The plans are a result of months-long planning processes including public input from the community and specific organizations with a vested interest in the area.

The preliminary plan for Mina Weil Park includes the new center, updated baseball fields and a dedicated entrance from John Street that eliminates parking on the fringe of the park.

Plans for Herman Park and Herman Park Center include a gym, updated spaces for activities and improved parking and entrances to the park.

In the plan, the ditch separating the center and park will be piped and filled in and improved sidewalks will be installed to make the park more handicapped accessible.

The Council was set to discuss the plans during its retreat, but it was canceled due to scheduling conflicts. A new date for the retreat is expected to be set Monday night.

"I think the Council just had some time to think about the plan and talk with their constituents," Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard said. "My pitch will be the same presentation as before that these plans are not written in stone."

Barnard said the plans can change and that what is proposed is just a conceptual design for how the parks could be developed today based on public input.

"A plan with any kind of age on it needs to be re-visited, and these plans have age the day they are finished," he said. "In four or five years we might be right back here digging out the plans and asking people if they still want everything on here."

The Goldsboro City Council is also expected to approve a number of planning requests at its rescheduled meeting Monday night including site plans for a Dick's Sporting Goods and a PetSmart.

The meeting, originally scheduled for March 3, was canceled due to incoming winter weather Monday night.

The new 55,000-square-foot building would be constructed on the vacant lot in between Cashwell Drive and Mall Road.

Access to the store would be provided along Eastgate Drive.

Site plans for a Wal-Mart Express at the corner of Wayne Memorial Drive and Tommy's Road will be on the consent agenda as well as a resolution setting a public hearing for the annexation of the five-acre property the building would sit on.

The public hearing will be set for the March 17 City Council meeting.

A Conditional Use permit to operate an Internet cafe in the North Plaza Shopping Center is expected to be approved following a public hearing on the proposal at the Feb. 17 City Council meeting.

The State Employees Credit Union will seek a site plan approval to construct a new building on the site of the old movie theater next to the Putt-Putt Fun Center.

Also up for approval is the contract for the relocation of a gas line along Berkeley Boulevard as part of the Berkeley Boulevard Widening Project.

The work will be performed by Piedmont Natural Gas at an estimated cost of $91,500.

According to the contract, the cost will not exceed $114,000.

Four water lines are being moved in addition to the gas line. Moving the water lines brought the cost of the project up $28,000 from the $104,000 it was expected to cost.

The project will add a right turn lane onto 4th Avenue from Berkeley Boulevard and construct another southbound lane from New Hope Road to connect with the section that is already a four-lane road north of U.S. 70.

The City Council is expected to give approval to the Tier Zero Gaming owner to operate tournaments in her gaming supply store on Ash Street.

A wellspring of support came from her customers during a public hearing in February in favor of the use.